Altitudes over 3,000 feet affect baking procedures. The atmosphere is drier, due to lower air pressure, and flours dry out causing bread recipes to require slightly more liquid to produce a soft and silky yeast dough. Water usually takes longer to boil, sugar and chocolate tend to become more concentrated in batters, and liquid evaporates quickly at high altitudes. Also, fermentation and rising is faster the higher you go as the leavening carbon dioxide gases are able to expand faster due to the thinner air, and rising times will be decreased up to half.

Boiling Point of Water at Various Altitudes
The boiling point of water varies with altitude because of atmospheric pressure differences. Weather can also affect water’s boiling point.
Elevation (feet) Degrees Fahrenheit Degrees Celsius
sea level 212.0 100.0
2,000 208.4 98.4
5,000 203.0 95.0
7,500 198.4 92.4
10,000 194.0 90.0
High Altitude Baking Adjustments
Above Sea Level (feet) Baking Powder (reduce each teaspoon by) Sugar (reduce each cup by) Liquid (for each cup add)
3,000 1/8 teaspoon 1/2 to 1 tablespoon 1 to 2 tablespoons
5,000 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon 1/2 to 2 tablespoons 2 to 4 tablespoons
7,000 and above 1/4 teaspoon 1 to 3 tablespoons 3 to 4 tablespoons

 

Ingredient Adjustments for High Altitude
Egg whites: Beat only to soft-peak stage above 4,000 feet.

 

Oven temperature: Increase by 25°F (11°C) to compensate for faster rising in the oven and slower heating.

 

Baking time: Decrease by about 5 minutes above 4,000 feet.

 

Liquids: For each cup, increase the amount by 1 tablespoon at more than 3,000 feet; 2 tablespoons at 5,000 feet; and 3 tablespoons at 7,000 to 8,000 feet.

 

Sugar: For each cup, decrease the amount by 1 tablespoon at more than 3,000 feet; 2 tablespoons at 5,000 feet; and 3 tablespoons at 7,000 to 8,000 feet.

 

Flour: For each cup, increase flour by 1 tablespoons at 3,000 feet; 2 tablespoons at 5,000 feet; and 3 tablespoons at more than 6,500 feet.